How to Get Started with Modernising your Software Systems

Business Insights

Outdated software systems which significantly underperform and carry excessive maintenance costs are surprisingly prevalent in businesses across the UK. As a result of the pandemic, more companies have recognised vulnerabilities in both their systems and digital strategies.

Legacy software systems are those which were built using old, outdated applications and operating systems which are no longer supported or in use. Running a rigid, outdated software solution may be presenting your business with multiple challenges, leaving you vulnerable to major risks and hindering growth.

Businesses using legacy software will no doubt experience:

  • Performance issues which impact productivity
  • Limited functionality to support processes
  • Little to no mobility
  • No security updates or patches
  • Lack of support or ability to make any modifications
  • Incompatible with your other business systems
  • Dissatisfied employees

How to move on from your outdated software:

Perhaps you know that your legacy software is letting your business down and are keen to make a change to a bespoke software system but you're not sure where or how to get started. Operations Manager of Clever Software Group, Megan Coombs, recommends a series of ways to help you kickstart the process to modernise your software.

    1. Identify business needs and goals

    A custom-made software solution is designed to encompass your company’s unique needs and processes. Creating a bespoke software development product is an investment and a commitment. Innovating and transforming your business systems are no small feats so it's important to have a clear strategy of what you're trying to achieve, which will help to drive the project forward.

    Defining how you need the software to improve the way your business operates and listing out some measurable objectives is a good place to start.

    2. Asses your current software

    Conduct a comprehensive review of your existing system's strengths and weaknesses. Determine how your software fits within your IT infrastructure and with other applications. It’s also important to identify the risks that your current software poses, so that you can begin to formulate a detailed plan which prioritises your business needs.

    3. Conduct user research amongst staff

    Slow running software can have a big impact on job satisfaction. Having a clear picture of how your existing software is impacting on employee's job roles will help to define the functionality and automation that is needed to work more efficiently.

    It will also benefit the software development process to have your team involved from the outset. Software is ultimately built for people so it’s vital they are involved in defining the user experience and in testing prototypes to ensure the system ticks all their usability needs.

    4. Evaluate resources and costs

    Working out the project team and allocating budget will help a software development company understand your project requirements and enable them to produce a clearer proposal solution. The more detail you are able offer the better. Sometimes you may not have a definite idea of costs involved. However, if you have a distinct set of project requirements and a timescale, the software company will be able to offer you an indicative cost outline.

    When you appoint a software company, they will work with you to devise an implementation plan. To do this, it’s helpful to have key delivery dates and milestones that can be planned around. This will help to ensure the project runs smoothly and to drive decision making amongst stakeholders.

    5. Find a software company who is the right fit

    You will be working closely with the software development team you appoint. So, it's crucial that you select a team who understands your business and what you are trying to achieve.

    As well as finding a development company with the right technical skill set, you will need to feel assured that the company you work with have a proven track record in effective project management and will provide you with a guided and collaborative approach from the outset.

Clever Software Group, based in Hampshire, has great experience in rescuing systems that have come to the end of their life cycle. Breathing new life into a software system can take many forms, and their expert development team can help you decide on the best route. Whether it's a rebuild, replatform, rearchitecture or restore, Clever Software can provide consultation on the best legacy modernisation for your business.